WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) --
A Namibian government lawyer told the High Court
Wednesday that 46 foreigners who had been languishing in police
cells since Dec. 2016 were being detained illegally.
The lawyer, Sylvia
Kahengombe, said this when she testified in the case brought to
the court by the Ombudsman John Walters regarding the detention
of the illegal immigrants.
Walters filed an
urgent application Friday against the home affairs, the chief of
immigration, the Immigration Tribunal, the safety minister, the
Namibian Police Inspector General, and the station commanders of
the police stations in Windhoek, Katutura, Wanaheda and Seeis,
where the immigrant were being detained.
Ueitele, who heard the case Monday, postponed it for a week to
allow the defense lawyers representing more time to prepare
their response to the Ombudsman’s application.
admission, however, came earlier after the defense had
investigated the circumstances around the detention of the
foreigners from Zimbabwe, Angola, Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) and Kenya.
Judge Ueitele then
ordered that the immigrants should be released forthwith and be
dealt with according to the provisions of the Immigration
According to the
Immigration Control Act, immigration officers are not allowed to
detain illegal immigrants for more than 14 days.
In the case of an
extension, the Act says the home affairs minister is the only
one who can do so but not for more than 14 days.
officers fail to finalize their investigation to verify an
immigrant’s legality in the country, the Act further says, they
must then release the immigrants after asking them to pay a
In this case, one of
the 46 immigrants had been in custody since Sept. 2016, while
others had been held since Dec. 2016.